Name: Laina Chan
Company: Melbourne TEC Chambers/2 Selborne Chambers
What do you enjoy the most, working in the field of construction & development?
I enjoy the complexity and technical aspects of construction law. I relate to the engineering and architectural aspects of each construction project which are a good fit with my other undergraduate honours degree in pure mathematics.
Where do you see your life in the next 5 years, what possibilities are ahead of you?
I hope to be able to facilitate a more balanced risk allocation in construction projects which will hopefully lead to more successful project delivery of major infrastructure projects. Career wise, I would like to continue to use my negotiation and dispute resolution skills in complex construction disputes to achieve pleasing outcomes for all stakeholders. Too many projects still end up in dispute with only the lawyers being the real winners.
If you could write a letter to a 13-year-old ‘you’ what would you say?
Hard work itself will not guarantee career success. You will face many obstacles in your career. These obstacles may take the form of people who will strive to thwart you from your chosen path. This often arises because of the insecurities and the fears that plague them and their need to bring you down to their level. Don’t let them do that. Be strategic. Stay focused on your end goal, don’t get discouraged but instead find a way to navigate your way around these obstacles towards your ultimate goal.
Most importantly stay true to yourself. Don’t ever compromise your honesty and integrity. These will be the cornerstones of your success. You will likely need a champion at your work so that your efforts will be recognised and mentors outside of work to help guide you. Once you are in a position to help and mentor others, do so.
At the end of the day, it is important that you don’t become a slave to your work. Balance is important. Always remember to make time for your family, your friends and your health.
What are 3 skills you have had to develop to get to where you are presently?
- Technical skills: Critical analysis, writing and presentation skills.
- Negotiation skills
- Leadership skills